Tennis: Playing it safe by keeping medicine basic

Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:28am EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - The shock of Maria Sharapova's failed drug test has cast a spotlight on the attention to detail her fellow players apply to medications and supplements, and most say they take as little as possible.

With Russian Sharapova now facing a ban of up to four years pending an investigation by the International Tennis Federation, the tennis world has been served a timely reminder that playing safe when it comes to drugs is always the best strategy.

"You can get pretty generic stuff now that makes you feel better if you're sick and it's got to be a very special case for me to take something specific," big-serving American Sam Querrey told Reuters on Wednesday.

"You've just got to be responsible for everything you take. You have to check everything in this day and age with USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency). I don't take caffeine. I just drink water and Gatorade.

"I don't even take any shakes or mixed drinks or anything like that. If I have flu, I take an aspirin or a Tylenol (paracetamol). I keep it very basic."

Spanish left-hander Rafa Nadal, a 14-times grand slam champion, adopts a similar strategy.

"I am not taking many things," Nadal told reporters at Indian Wells ahead of the BNP Paribas Open. "I am just taking the things when I am on the tennis court, in the orange bottles.

"I use two bottles - one has water and one has only mineral salts, and that's it. Anti-inflammatories sometimes - Ibuprofen or Voltaren.   Continued...

Mar 7, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Maria Sharapova speaks to the media announcing a failed drug test after the Australian Open during a press conference today at The LA Hotel Downtown. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports